Al Molo Ristorante Italiano
Shop G63, G/F, Ocean Terminal, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Hong Kong’s rising status in the global food scene has seen many Michelin-starred chefs eager to plant a flag in the region’s food capital. At Al Molo, local foodies can have a taste of the exceptional handmade pastas and signature Italian recipes that have catapulted chef Michael White to New York culinary fame.
After opening some of New York’s hottest new restaurants, including the two-Michelin-starred Marea and Fifth Avenue pasta palace Ai Fiori, the celebrated chef looked to the Fragrant Harbour as the site for one of his first international destinations. Michael opened Al Molo with the support of Hong Kong-based Dining Concepts, the restaurant group responsible for bringing the likes of Gordon Ramsay, Enrico Bartolini and Laurent Tourondel to our doors. They found inspiration for the name in its location, bestowing the space with the Italian words for ‘the pier’.
With the opening of Al Molo, Hong Kongers were in for a treat. The restaurant is sprawled over 7,000-square-feet, just a stone’s throw from the waterfront. In the expansive space guests have the option of dining in the casual bar area, within the main dining room, or on the alfresco terrace overlooking the dazzling skyline.
Ensuring the cogs run smoothly in the Al Molo kitchen is Head Chef, Giuseppe Ferreri, an Italian native. Working with top-quality seafood and meat, as well as fine imported Italian ingredients, Giuseppe and his team showcase a range of classic Italian dishes, from braised veal shank to saffron risotto and tonno – a serve of seared fennel crusted tuna served with eggplant caponata, pine nuts and balsamic.
At the heart of the restaurant is the wood-fired pizza oven, churning out piping hot dishes including the spicy calabrese salami with bubbling pockets of mozzarella; the trifolata – fragrant with a generous drizzling of truffle oil, and the quattro formaggi – a cheese-lover’s dream with buffalo mozzarella, taleggio, fontina and gorgonzola.
Pastas are just as sensational, from the squid ink spaghetti tossed with juicy clams, chilli and leeks, to the pansotti – a whiff of the Italian Riviera with sweet chunks of lobster and fresh burrata. Rice lovers will gravitate towards the wild mushroom risotto, made creamy and rich with plenty of parmesan cheese.
While pastas take creative liberties, mains are classic Italian to a tee: there’s whole salt-baked branzino, a Florentina steak served with red wine sauce, and osso buco – braised until fork-tender and served with golden-hued saffron risotto.
To complement the menu, Al Molo’s well-versed sommelier, Matteo Merea, has curated an extensive list of Italian wines, ranging from familiar labels to niche boutique wineries, catering to both the novice and the expert vinophile. As you wind down dinner with ricotta cheesecake or classic tiramisu, ask for a shot of grappa or Fernet Branca to round out the meal with an authentic Italian digestif.
Given Hong Kong’s ongoing obsession with the food of Italy, there’s no question Al Molo will continue to draw in the pizza and pasta-loving crowds for many more years to come.